In the feature game for Round 3 of our Sussex Senior Challenge Cup, Isthmian South East side, Three Bridges, proved too much for Southern Combination Premier’s Little Common.
It was a big night for Little Common who returned to their home, The Recreation Ground, for the first time in 4 and a half years. The Green Lane Boys have been ground-sharing with Eastbourne United whilst their usual home made the league requirements.
Three Bridges were there to spoil the party, however, and did so with first half goals from Noel Leighton and Dan Perry which was topped off with a second half penalty converted by Brannon O’Neill.
That said, it was a score line that Little Common will feel aggrieved by having put on a decent display against a higher opposition.
Little Common started off well playing some tidy football and had two early chances. Firstly, Liam Ward struck the ball from distance with it rising just over the bar. This was followed by James Miriam-Batchelor striking the post from close-range.
The quick start from Little Common must have done something to wake Three Bridges up who went straight up the other end and smashed one off the post themselves with O’Neill coming agonisingly close from outside the box.
It was a chance that gave Three Bridges the confidence they needed and found the lead two minutes later when, after an advantage played by referee, Dan Jeffery, Leighton was played through and made no mistake with a tidy finish past Matt Cruttwell.
Three Bridges gained a lot of confidence from the goal and wasted no time in doubling their lead. Leighton broke down the right and crossed in a ball that even Kevin De Bruyne would be proud of, with Dan Perry striking it in beautifully in off the bar.
Little Common were determined not to be out of the tie just yet and fired back forcing two good saves out of Mitch Bromage a few minutes apart.
Curtis Gayler then came incredibly close to putting Three Bridges out of sight, striking inches wide of the post inside the box.